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Urban studies and research at LSE
Urban@LSE is a portal for masters and doctoral teaching and for research activities on cities and urban issues across LSE. It aims to provide a resource for faculty, researchers and graduate students across the School, as well as an overview of urban teaching and research at LSE for prospective students and other visitors.

As an international centre of excellence in the social sciences, LSE has a long-standing commitment to an innovative understanding of urban society. LSE has a distinctive concentration of urban specialists in a number of disciplinary areas, and is an unrivalled centre for postgraduate study in the area of city design, urban and regional planning, urbanisation and development, and the economic, social, political and policy aspects of contemporary urban life. See contents panel for links to masters and PhD programmes on offer.

WEBSITE The Culture of Suburbs

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The Leverhulme Trust funded Cultures of the Suburbs International Research Network is pleased to announce the launch of its new website at

The Network is a partnership between the Universities of Exeter and Kingston (UK), Witwatersrand (South Africa), Hofstra (USA), Griffith (Australia) and the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. It aims to further the scholarly, professional and public understanding of the cultures of the modern (post-1900) suburbs through international and interdisciplinary research. Launched in 2011, the project’s interests are transhistorical, international and cross-disciplinary. The Network facilitates research, organises events and conferences and fosters collaboration between scholars, community groups, professionals and other interested parties.

The website is an important feature of the Network and hosts a wealth of online information about suburban cultural studies for scholars, professional groups and local communities.
Continue reading WEBSITE The Culture of Suburbs

Research Center: SpaceLab Delft

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SpaceLab TU Delft

Spacelab is a research and teaching laboratory set up to investigate the city as a spatial framework of living urban societies, economies and cultures, and as the transforming landscape of a transforming everyday life. We are interested in ideas of the space, dynamism and change of the city and try to develop these ideas so they may be interesting and useful to spatial planners and urban designers. We work by tracing the real-life dynamics of real cities and metropolitan areas and developing space-time models of neighborhoods, cities and whole metropolitan landscapes on this basis. We look at the way ideas of community, society, culture and economy may be articulated in these dynamic patterns and develop spatial strategies to affect or steer urban development to social, economic, cultural and sustainability ends. We try to understand the changing character of specific locations and regions in the context of the space-time transformation processes of the city as a whole.

We start from the position that we live in the ‘complete urbanization’ Henri Lefebvre spoke of already in 1970. We understand urbanization as the spread of the ways of life and the material substance of cities over the earth – as evidenced by the famous NASA photograph of the world at night. But we take it also to be part of the way that human beings have fabricated their world through history and made it coherent and inhabitable; not just as part of an explicit planning process but as part of the way they have constructed the world to orders that have made it part of everyday lives and available to our experience and action. We believe that careful and considered urbanization, as a means of organizing and managing limited spatial and material resources, and containing the spread of our ecological footprint, is still the way to a sustainable future for human beings on this planet. This is a political as well as a technical task and will require changes in the way we take responsibility for the world around us, but these changes will come as they are forced on us by the crises of sustainability and the justice of distribution.

We work all over the world but from the Netherlands and from Europe; and we see hopeful indications towards the future in some of the concerns and priorities of European spatial planning, and more especially in the way the urbanized landscape of the Netherlands has been built and sustained as a cultural landscape over time. We live in a natural world become culture and have to begin to understand the way this changes our role in this world from that of exploiters of the natural world to sustainers, maintainers and guardians of a cultural one.

Spacelab is part of the chair of Spatial Planning and Strategy and we work in partnership with the chairs of Urban Design and Architectural Theory. We carry out research within the ULab and Randstad research programs. We also teach with our partners in the MSc Urbanism program, taking on graduating (semester 3 and 4) students as assistants in research, developing and applying methods for analysis and strategies for the development of different locations around the world.

PROJECTS: Space Syntax UCL


Space Syntax is an advanced spatial technology as well as a highly influential theory of architecture and town planning. It was originally developed by Professor Bill Hillier and his colleagues at University College London (UCL), one of Europe’s premier research universities. The network of Space Syntax companies works closely with UCL in shaping knowledge to advance the technology,
informing practice by disseminating the technology through training and policy formation and
creating places by applying the technology through planning and design consultancy.

Space Syntax is the world’s first computer-based modelling technique to treat cities and buildings ‘space first’, that is as the network of spaces we use and move through.

Urban Laboratory University College London


The UCL Urban Laboratory, established in 2005, is a university wide initiative to bring together the best urban teaching and research at UCL. Our activities build on the full spectrum of work at UCL across the arts and sciences ranging from civil engineering to film studies, from urban history to the latest developments in architectural design.

Urban research at UCL draws on a rich heritage of ideas including the path breaking insights of figures such as Patrick Abercrombie, Peter Hall, Ruth Glass, Peter Cook and Reyner Banham. The engagement between UCL and wider public debates over the future design and planning of cities is a distinctive feature of our research.

The focus on cities at UCL has a strong international dimension building on extensive networks across Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas.

SKuOR, Interdisciplinary Centre for Urban Culture and Public Space, Stiftungsgastprofessur Stadtkultur und öffentlicher Raum, Raumforschung, Raumproduktion, Critical Urban Studies

Arbeitsbereich für Stadtkultur und öffentlicher Raum (SKuOR)


Warum funktionieren traditionelle Planungsinstrumente oftmals nicht, um öffentliche Räume als Sozialräume zu stärken? Was genau wird als ‚öffentlich’ an öffentlichen Räumen verstanden und wie kann Kultur in den Städten dazu beitragen, Prozesse sozialen Austausches und gesellschaftlicher Konfrontation zu stimulieren? Mehr lesen…


Der Arbeitsbereich Stadtkultur und öffentlicher Raum (SKuOR), der zwischen 2009 und 2011 mit Stiftungsmitteln der Stadt Wien materiell gefördert wird, bringt sich zukünftig in Forschung und Lehre an der TU Wien ein und forciert sogleich die Etablierung und Verfestigung akademischer Netzwerke auf europäischer Ebene sowie den Dialog zwischen Stadtverwaltung und Universitäten in Wien. Mehr lesen…


Mit dem SKuOR hat sich an der Fakultät für Architektur und Raumplanung der TU Wien eine horizontale und dialogisch aufgebaute Struktur institutionell etabliert, deren Aufgabe es ist, bereits vorhandene akademische Potenziale in den Themenfeldern Stadtkultur und öffentlicher Raum aufzuspüren und synergetisch im Sinne des gegebenen thematischen Lehr- und Forschungsschwerpunktes inhaltlich zu bündeln. Mehr lesen…

COSMOPOLIS – City, Culture & Society


COSMOPOLIS is a transdisciplinary research centre in urban studies, which focuses on the relationship between city, culture and society. COSMOPOLIS is part of the Department of Geography at the Free University of Brussels and is responsible for a number of activities both at the level of academic education, academic networking and extra muros activities.

Georg Simmel Center for Metropolitan Studies (GSZ)


The Georg-Simmel Center of the Humboldt-University of Berlin is intended to bring together the numerous scientific competencies of the various areas of expertise which deal with the large city and the metropolis. It encourages the pursuance of comprehensive research and teachings across the various disciplines and faculties. Currently 26 professors participate.